Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On to politics

Its hard not to blog about politics during this seemingly all encompassing presidential race. I don't enjoy talking about politics the same way I do about religion. They both are touchy subjects, they get people very emotional, very quickly and can create lifelong lasting emotional scars between close people. Furthermore, when it comes to politics I don't feel the same internal impetus that I do with religion. On that note I couldn't resist posting the following...

Marlin K Jensen has been a hero of mine since high school when I heard him give a conference talk on the true nature of humility. I heard him speak again in the MTC and his words resonated with me. I'm sure you know that he has been in the Presidency of the Seventy and is an outspoken Democrat. When talking about the all too common, but incorrect Mormon notion that if you're not a Republican your less righteous than you otherwise could be, Brother Jensen said:

"[This] notion that may prevail in some areas that you can’t be a good Mormon and a good Democrat at the same time. There have been some awfully good men and women who have, I think, been both and are both today. So I think it would be a very healthy thing for the church—particularly the Utah church—if that notion could be obliterated."1

The Church itself has stated in an official statement that, "Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties."2

I strongly feel an opposition to both parties, and like many things in both parties. If Obama wins I'll be glad to put part of the racism issue behind us. If McCain wins I'll be happy to see a strong woman become VP. Either way there will be good things that will happen to our country that won't if the other party were to win. Here's to hoping that the party who wins will be the one that makes the most good things happen!




9 comments:

AJ said...

Yes! Thanks for this. I remember that humility talk by Elder Jensen as well.

Jodee said...

Finally! Thank you! So does this mean you sit beside me "on the fence?"

Carson Calderwood said...

Totally Jodee! To me the grass isn't greener on either side, I'd rather sit on the fence and have a better view of everything rather than be down lower in the grass.

AJ said...

I've always heard it said that some church leader stated that a member can't be a good Mormon and a Democrat. I've "heard" (we know how dangerous that can be) that it was President Benson. Is that true? Was that quote even said by any church leader?

I'm not Democrat but I don't believe that statement by the way.

Carson Calderwood said...

AJ,
I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything. I'm sure if he had it would have been quoted in the couple of articles I recently read on the subject and they didn't say anything.

AJ said...

That's good to know. Thanks for checking. I think it was my MTC companion that attributed it to him.

the narrator said...

I don't know if Benson ever said anything about the Democratic party by name, though he was pretty much critical of anything the Democratic party (or even GOP) did that seemed remotely socialistic to him. He was about as far-right as it got loved to go McCarthy and accuse others as being communists. Pretty much everything that was not as crazy far-right as him was thought to be inspired by Satan by him.

Though once he became President of the Church, his political views went almost completely silent.

Richard Tait said...

I've had commenting on this blogpost in my "todo" file for a while now, so I know that I'm late to the conversation, but I'd still like to add something. When I do the research, and clinically compare the few moral positions that the LDS church HAS officially taken positions on, e.g., gay marraige, abortion, etc., the overwhelming conclusion is that those positions are closer to the official platforms of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. That doesn't mean a Mormon can't or shouldn't be Republican; it just means that objectively, a Mormon Democrat with intentions of supporting the church on moral issues will have more of his/her own party beleifs to reject than a Mormon Republican. For me, being a Mormon Republican makes it easier for me to support the church on moral issues; I have less party platforms to deny belief in.

Katie B. said...

Amen to that! Carson - love the blog. Couldn't agree more with you. I get really tired of the perspective that Democrats are evil and Republicans are saints. How soon we forget that just a few decades ago Utah voted overwhelmingly democratic for FDR and others.

I also get frustrated by the notion that one or the other party has a majority of the "right" principles. While I rarely vote democrat (though I have!) Their sincere efforts to help the poor and other campaign platforms are every bit as aligned with Christ's teachings as the whole abortion issue. In fact, Barack's efforts to improve our standing in the world will go a long way toward helping the missionary effort which has been stymied quite a bit by the current administration and ill-will towards America.
-mb

Sadly, too many people are single issue voters and can't see beyond abortion (while awful and something I am strongly against) is also decided and extremely unlikely to change - so why they refuse to think more broadly about the issues that matter like healthcare, poverty, etc. we miss out on a way to make a difference. I saw a great billboard in Utah when I was there last month - vote the candidate not the party. Great words.